Angel Nafis and Alison C. Rollins
CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine are pleased to announce the five recipients of the 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships: Kaveh Akbar, Jos Charles, Angel Nafis, Alison C. Rollins, and Javier Zamora. Among the largest awards offered to young poets in the United States, the $25,800 prize is intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry and is open to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age.
“Poets aren’t just makers, they are doers,” says Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine. “Each one of the 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellows excels at both of these things. They have all already had a salutary influence on American poetry, and it’s an honor for us to support their distinctive and essential efforts in an art form that is reaching more people than ever before."
Established in 1989 by Ruth Lilly, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship program has dramatically expanded since its inception. Until 1995, university writing programs nationwide each nominated one student poet for a single fellowship; from 1996 until 2007, two fellowships were awarded. In 2008, the competition was opened to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age, and the number of fellowships increased to five, totaling $75,000. In 2013, the Poetry Foundation received a generous gift from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund to create the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships, which increased the fellowship amount from $15,000 to $25,800.
Angel Nafis is an Ann Arbor, Michigan native and earned her BA at Hunter College. The author of BlackGirl Mansion (2012), Nafis is a Cave Canem fellow and a recipient of the Millay Colony residency. Her work has appeared in The Rattling Wall, The BreakBeat Poets Anthology, MUZZLE Magazine, The Rumpus, Poetry, and more. Nafis tours internationally as the Black Feminist poetry duo The Other Black Girl Collective with Morgan Parker and has represented New York City at both the National Poetry Slam and the Women of the World Poetry Slam. She is an Urban Word NYC Mentor and the founder, curator, and host of the Greenlight Poetry Salon. Nafis is an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Alison C. Rollins was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. A Cave Canem Fellow, she is the second prizewinner of the 2016 James H. Nash Poetry Contest and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, River Styx, Vinyl, and elsewhere. She currently works as the librarian for Nerinx Hall, a high school in Webster Groves, Missouri.
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About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit poetryfoundation.org.
About Poetry Magazine
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet.
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